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Former DWP expert admitted ‘fit for work’ tests were ‘unsatisfactory’ in 2012 – Tories ignored him

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When devoted to manipulating and misleading the British public, and the British Parliament, the Cabinet Office must be very careful whose opinion they accept and report. And that acceptance does vary, depending on what government appointed experts are saying.

Dr Mansel Aylward was the Chief Medical Officer for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) from 2001 until his resignation, in 2005, to move to his new position as Director of the UnumProvident Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research, at Cardiff University.

Aylward was funded for the first five years with £1.6million by the notorious American corporate insurance giant, when still known as UnumProvident Insurance, who were the appointed government advisers on welfare claims management from 1994.  The company changed their name to UNUM Insurance in 2007.

Aylward’s influence did a great deal of harm as the appointed biopsychosocial (BPS) expert and, together with Gordon Waddell, hastily produced the DWP commissioned Scientific and Conceptual Basis for Incapacity Benefit in 2005, which recommended the BPS model of functional assessment for all claimants of Incapacity Benefit being migrated to the new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), which replaced Incapacity Benefit in October 2008 for all new claimants of long-term out-of-work sickness and disability benefit.

All 2.68 million claimants of Incapacity Benefit were destined to be reassessed for the ESA, using the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), a ‘functional assessment’ using the BPS model which totally disregards diagnosis, prognosis and the claimant’s past medical history.  The WCA was always destined to cause preventable harm.

Aylward had been involved with private healthcare insurance long before he joined the DWP, and the creation of the BPS model to justify the fatally flawed WCA was no doubt why he was appointed.

However, once this was well known, Aylward was challenged in 2012 by disability activists in the company of the Editor of the Disability News Service, and finally admitted that his BPS model was considered by him to be “unsatisfactory” and that it “no longer addresses the real needs of disabled people and the exclusion of disabled people from society”.

Needless to say, this change of academic ‘expert’ opinion was widely promoted but found no acceptance by the DWP, who disregarded their own appointed expert and continue to use the WCA, as the deaths linked to the WCA mount.

There is a great deal of published evidence demonstrating the influence of the discredited American corporate insurance giant with the British welfare reforms since 1992, which is all disregarded by the DWP.

Most recently, academic excellence by Professor Tom Shakespeare and colleagues exposed the Aylward BPS model of assessment as having no coherent theory or evidence behind this model” and that the research used by the DWP to justify the use of the BPS model for the WCA was found to be “revealing a cavalier approach to scientific evidence.”  That’s academic speak for the BPS model being totally bogus.

Of course, the unelected influence used to open the door to this ongoing claimant suffering was provided by David Freud in a 2007 commissioned report: ‘Reducing Dependency, Increasing Opportunity’, written by a man who freely admitted he knew nothing about welfare, yet was to be ennobled and given a government position with the DWP to continue to produce savage cuts to welfare benefits.

Commonly known as the Freud Report, various Ministers have referenced it, yet overlooked the fact that it was totally discredited by Professor Danny Dorling, three months following publication, as Dorling exposed the fact that Freud had “got his numbers wrong” and had misinterpreted his own figures.  Freud resigned his government position in December 2016 shortly after his past incompetence had been publicly exposed.

So, both the DWP commissioned reports used to justify the use of the WCA for claimants of the ESA have been exposed as being fatally flawed, the assessment system was influenced by the second worst insurance company in America, as thousands suffer and die at the hands of the State, which the Tory dominated national press refuse to report to the British people.

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